Teeth grinding is very damaging to your smile! Many people don’t know they have this condition, called bruxism. Teeth grinding puts intense pressure on the jaw during sleep, times of stress, or even other times when the person may not always be aware it’s happening. It can actually cause loose or chipped teeth, fractures, and lead to other dental health problems. But is gum chewing linked to grinding your teeth? Let’s find out!
Yes, Gum Chewing Has Been Linked to Bruxism
Did you know that chewing on non-edible objects such as pencils or gum can actually lead to teeth grinding? This is because it encourages your jaw muscles to clench and increases your chances of grinding your teeth at times when you’re not chewing gum. When you’re chewing gum, your jaw muscles aren’t able to relax. This leads to your muscles being more familiar with the clenching and grinding feeling of constantly chewing.
When this happens, your muscles may be more adept to feel comfortable doing these things even when you’re not chewing gum. It’s important to remember that your jaw should be able to relax and not always be stimulated! This will help reduced your chances of developing the habit of grinding your teeth. Let’s look at what you can do to prevent teeth grinding.
What Can You Do?
If you often chew gum and have jaw pain, it’s time to call the dentist. You may be unknowingly grinding your teeth and causing lasting damage to your smile. While the occasional episode of bruxism won’t hurt you, developing a habit of it will. You can actually wear your teeth down, damage the roots (which can cause painful sensitivity and root damage, eventually leading to root canals), lose enamel, and you could even lose your teeth.
It’s important to know that there is treatment for bruxism. If you suspect you’re grinding your teeth, visit your dentist. He or she can inspect your mouth for any damage as well as talk with you about treatments. Besides limiting or excluding chewing gum from your life, try to relax. Don’t chew gum all the time, if at all. If you’re stressed or anxious, this can encourage you to grind your teeth as well.
Develop relaxation habits, schedule time for yourself, or exercise to help manage your stress. Your dentist may also suggest a custom nightly mouth guard if your teeth grinding is happening at night to limit the damage you do to your teeth!
If you grind your teeth, it’s a good idea to kick the chewing gum habit. Encourage your jaw muscles to relax! Visit your dentist to ensure you aren’t damaging your smile for life. Teeth grinding is a dangerous habit, and chewing gum has been linked to encouraging teeth grinding due to the constant clenching of the jaws. Stay relax and talk with your dentist about what else you can do to overcome your teeth grinding habit. Your smile will thank you!